Mayflower Madame – Prepared For A Nightmare

photo by Sven Santelmann

Through the striking propositions found within their debut album of 2016 and a following EP, it is fair to say that eager anticipation for the release of a new album from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame was fired up upon news of its release, one only accentuated by a recent single taken from the ten track encounter. It was an intrigue and hope which has been quickly replaced by sheer pleasure as Prepared For A Nightmare is one of the most captivating and hauntingly fascinating pleasures of the year so far.

That first album, Observed in a Dream, shared a sound which bred from a fusion of post-punk, shoegaze and psychedelia hungrily gripped and fed our ears and imagination. It proved a compelling proposition which the following Premonition EP in 2018 only echoed as it built upon the prowess and strengths of the previous release. In turn Prepared For A Nightmare has taken the potent attributes of those before it and evolved them into its own impressive strengths and temptations and indeed a real uniqueness which was may be not quite there on its predecessors. Without distilling any of the cold shadows and apocalyptically hued romance and intimation which has made their music in sound and character so compelling to date, there is a warmer dare we say slightly poppier aspect to the new album and one which has only accentuated the rich imagination and breath of the Oslo hailing trio’s sound.

Prepared for a Nightmare opens with its title track, a shimmer of light drawing attention as a darker hued sonic sigh lures the subsequent full body of rhythmic incitement and melodic intimation to emerge. It is a weave of almost menacing psych rock temptation and crystalline suggestion, the guitars of Håvard Haga and Trond Fagernes spinning strands of sonic luminosity across rhythmic manipulation. With Fagernes’ vocals an equally magnetic draw and, in the first of two appearance within the release, Petter G. Marberg’s bass a heady tenebrific grip on the senses, the track was swift and inescapable captivation.

Recent single, Vultures, is next up to be quickly followed by its successor in Swallow. The first of the two tracks similarly entices with a lone lure, a guitar suggestively teasing ears before the virulent gait and enterprise of the track erupts to join its persuasion. The senses nagging beats of drummer Ola J. Kyrkjeeide alongside Fagernes’ moody bassline were swiftly under the skin, the latter’s tones again a thick lure into the kaleidoscopic beauty of the track. Yet there is a predatory edge to it all which grips just as firmly, post punk rhythms and steely grooves colluding with spiralling psych guitars and harmonic vocals to escalate the guileful nature of the song.

The second single opens with a percussive clipping of the senses aligned to a delicious intrigue woven hook; its intimation alone a rich lure of espionage and flirtation soon taken up by the darker hues of bass and the melodic entanglement of guitars. A warmer hug comes through the synth of Kenneth Eknes who features across numerous tracks within the album, the song a calmer engagement compared to those before it but again the organic volatility within the band’s sound adds to its drama and adventure; its energetic infectiousness sparking thoughts of Modern English as its psych/shoegaze nurtured enterprise hints at the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain and House Of Love.

The instant rhythmic drive of Ludwig Meidner had us greedily hooked, the quickly surrounding smog of melodic and vocal insinuation building the fascination until the song is a thick almost concussive but invigorating engagement. The dark grumble of the bass is delicious alone; its post punk inclinations an infection to which the band only add further virulence in voice and sonic endeavour while the following   Never Turning (In Time) breeds a tenebrific seduction from its cinematic opening which enthralled as it subtly devoured. The track proved pure temptation, a dark haunting again where beauty and jeopardy collude.

Across the equally sinister Sacred Core and the crepuscular romance of The Night Before a form of addictive captivation with Prepared For A Nightmare only grew closer; the first of the two bordering on the radiantly nightmarish as the second seduced with its own Gene Loves Jezebel hued serenade while Goldmine straight after illuminates a shadow hungry dance-floor with its animated but still rapaciously intense trespass. An electronic effervesce underlines the denser touch of the song yet everything about the drama and opaque climate of the track is inescapable catchiness.

A Future Promise is another where dark intrigue oozes from every note and syllable, guitars and bass alone weaving a darkly intimating theatre within the brighter dye and optimism of the keys. As with all tracks the imagination is fuelled with an adventure to build upon, ears soaked in a bewitching sound setting Mayflower Madame apart from the rest as finally endorsed by album closer, Endless Shimmer; a song which gently radiates upon the senses as it enraptures ears and thoughts.

It is a bewitching end to an album which had us embroiled in its tantalising breath and creative web from start to finish and with greater lust by the listen; Mayflower Madame surely casting a lure to major attention.

Prepared For A Nightmare is out now digitally via Only Lovers Records @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/album/prepared-for-a-nightmare with its vinyl and CD release on May 15th in collaboration with Portland’s Little Cloud Records and Parisian label Icy Cold Records.

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame   https://www.instagram.com/mayflowermadame

Pete RingMaster 23/04/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Mayflower Madame – Premonition EP

photo by Sven Santelmann

Though formed in 2011, it was the release of their debut album Observed in a Dream two years ago which awoke real attention upon Mayflower Madame, introducing them to a whole wealth of new fans, us included. It offered a compelling and increasingly gripping full taste of the band’s psych rock infested post punk. Ahead of a new album later this year the Norwegian outfit have unveiled the Premonition EP, a release which simply leaves that previous encounter in the shade and is already making anticipation for the band’s second album impatient.

Fresh from a US tour, the latest the Oslo quartet has undertaken beyond their homeland since the release of that first full-length, the band now no strangers to venturing across the UK, Europe, and N America, Mayflower Madame lures the listener into a new soundscape of their imagination fuelled sound with Premonition. Consisting of four tantalising propositions which can be, as the EP’s promo sheet suggests, “best described as apocalyptic love songs”, Premonition has a captivating calmness across its body which the previous release maybe evaded but equally a more virulent almost predacious craft and indeed seduction for a romance of impending darkness to embrace and fear.

The EP opens with its title track, a siren warning its arrival. From the midst of the threat an instantly compelling groove emerges, its calm but inescapable swing courted by additional melodic tendrils from the guitars of Håvard Haga and vocalist Trond Fagernes. It was pure temptation to our ears, the swarthy blend of their lures irresistible and swiftly complemented by the dark enticement of Kenneth Eknes’ atmosphere weaving synth and Fagernes’ potent voice. The rhythmic captivation of Petter Gudim Marberg’s bass and the crisp swings of drummer Ola J. Kyrkjeeide reinforced the grip the song quickly held, it only tightening its hold as the layers of psychedelically lit post punk infested body and psyche.

The following Before I Fall makes a similarly magnetic entrance, the bass of this time Fagernes walking magnetically through ears with the melodic intimation of the guitars for company.  Like a psych washed fusion of Dead Can Dance, My Bloody Valentine, and Fields Of The Nephilim, the song fascinated and tantalised in equal measure. Its heavy emotion and senses wrapping shadows unavoidably infested the imagination but equally the song tempted the body into calm but definite involvement even as its darkness consumed. The fact that the song did not bring the same lust as for its predecessor or successor is simply down to their might, the song only magnetism.

The best track to our ears is Alma’s Sermon, its swing and melodic dance manna to our musical instincts and passions. Flirting with both through something akin to The Orson Family assimilated by The Doors, the track ensnares ears with a hook which teases and pleasures as an insatiable creative appetite supports it from within a web of melodic suggestion from the guitars. All the while, rhythms manipulate attention and hips like a puppeteer with the tones of Fagernes as alluring as they shimmer and echo the song’s dark magnetism.

Spiders Seek with the opener is a close contender to that favourite track choice as it completes the release, the intrigue soaked encounter cinematic in its atmosphere, intimate in its breath. The keys simply seduced our ears, their seemingly familiar yet unique enterprise a spark for the imagination on their own, the suggested drama thoughts conjured only accentuated by the dark catchiness of the bass with Marberg back plucking the strings, the hypnotic stroll of the beats, and the guitar’s sonic wiring.

It is a superb end to a magnificent release. Observed in a Dream only pleasured and excited but the Premonition EP has left it in its wake with ease. Goodness knows what the band’s forthcoming full-length will do…We cannot wait.

The Premonition EP is out now digitally and on CD via the band’s own label Night Cult Records @ https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com  as well as being available on cassette via Black Verb Records (Germany), SpiderChild Records (US) and Custom Made Music (US).

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Mayflower Madame – Observed in a Dream

MayflowerMadame_RingMasterReview

When looking back at the end of the year, we suspect that April will be noted as one of the most fruitful months for stunning albums, with a great many of them striking debuts. To a list running into double figures we can add the outstanding first full-length from Norwegian band Mayflower Madame. The band’s sound is a captivating weave of post punk, shoegaze, and psych rock textures but given its own distinct character by the imagination of the Oslo quartet, and Observed in a Dream a release which commands attention with a presence slightly nostalgic but as fresh as the dew on a spring morning, and as radiant.

Formed in 2011, Mayflower Madame has already drawn potent attention and praise with the Into the Haze EP in 2013 and last year their single Lovesick. Comparisons to bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Bauhaus, Spacemen 3, and The Jesus & Mary Chain have readily been offered, and understandably with the band’s provocative dark and sensuous sound. Live they have earned a strong reputation too, sharing stages with the likes of Crystal Stilts, Night Beats, La Femme, Disappears, Crocodiles, and Moon Duo along the way and making successful appearances at Norway’s largest festivals, Oya and Norwegian Wood. Now released on their own Night Cult Records and Custom Made Music in North America, Observed in a Dream is ready to wake up the biggest and most attentive spotlights upon the band.

As soon as opener Confusion Hill envelops ears it is a success easy to imagine, and then be sure of as each track seduces imagination and appetite. The first song emerges from a haunted atmosphere with already slightly portentous shadows to its air. Its approaching tempest though is quickly turned into a strolling seduction upon arrival, psych and surf rock flavours shining, almost sighing, over the infectious darkly hued prowl of Petter Gudim Marberg’s bass and Ola Jørgen Kyrkjeeide’s crisp beats. The guitars of Rune Øverby and Trond Fagernes swiftly spin a bed of evocative colour and suggestiveness too as the latter’s also quickly impressing vocals lay emotively upon the strands of sound. It is easy to see where those Bauhaus and Jesus & Mary Chain references come from, though the bigger and bolder the song becomes it reminds more of Gene Loves Jezebel, echoes and resonance on voice and melodies a delicious shimmer.

art_RingMasterReviewAn outstanding start is still eclipsed by its successor Lovesick, a song which plays second fiddle to no one. From its beguiling dark rock ‘n’ roll strum, the song canters along with a devilish swing led by another highly flavoursome throaty bassline and catchy riffery matched by flirtatious beats. Think The Birthday Party meets Helldorado and Tones on Tails as a clue to the track’s virulent alchemy; a song with as much fascinating drama as it has addictive infectiousness.  Its exceptional incitement is as good as matched by that of Self-Seer; another track rolling along on an enslaving rhythmic tenacity and ingenuity. It explores a mellower climate of sound yet still has an energy and sonic clang to physically stir the spirit. If looking for another hint, Echo and The Bunnymen would be a suggestion for the otherwise unique rock ‘n’ roll of the mouth-watering proposal.

A sixties instrumental twang adds to the seduction of Upside Down (The Death Loop), guitars a sultry lure with again a surf rock like tone to their imagination whilst within their searing elegance a cinematic drama infests rhythms and hooks. As much as there is variety to the sound within Observed In A Dream, so too the vocals craft similar diversity, here harmonies glowing with a hazy beauty around the matching delivery of Fagernes.

Latest single Weightless rumbles in next, carrying a far heavier tone and intent in its creative espionage and welcome trespass. A Play Dead/ Sisters Of Mercy like breath soaks the song, its heavy shadows and provocative textures as invasive as they are seductive. Personally, it is not the song we would choose to lead into the release of Observed in a Dream with other more irresistible options, yet the song in its brief moment is a thrilling and rousing protagonist only making the appetite for album and sound greedier.

The calmer landscape and presence of Into The Haze (Redux) hugs ears next, the song a gentle but again lively adventure into noir lit pastures with more cinematic lures whilst the album’s title track, which follows, from a similar template casts its own tantalising and riveting psyche embedding web of sound and emotion which at times is like The Shadows in collusion with House Of Love and Flesh For Lulu.

The album closes with the psychedelically atmospheric Forever//The End Of Everything, a track which equally expresses post punk discord and causticity within its pulsating and bewitching theatre of sound and emotion. It is a powerful end to a tremendous first introduction to most of us to Mayflower Madame. They and Observed In A Dream grab attention, grip tighter with every pleasure giving twist and turn, and emerge as a reason why Mayflower Madame is one of the most exciting bands to make their mark on 2016 so far.

Observed In A Dream is out now via Night Cult Records in Europe and Custom Made Music in North America as an Ltd Ed vinyl, CD, and Download. All options available @ http://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame   https://www.instagram.com/mayflowermadame/

Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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